Crypto is in a nosedive, and your NFTs are losing value daily. What’s next? It’s clear to see that the blockchain’s rough ride isn’t over, not by a long shot. While we’d love to see a one-size-fits-all solution to assuage the fears of those struggling to grasp the current state of Web3. The best anyone can do right now is to zoom out.
A phrase that has been used far and wide across the NFT space, “zooming out” has become an increasingly ambiguous term, enjoying a broadening variety of meanings over the years, depending on the context. Some use it to acquire deeper context on the price of crypto, others to inspire a more holistic mindset than their peers, and others still use the phrase to check those who might’ve become bitter or arrogant.
Aside from its literal definition, zooming out carries a lot of weight on the blockchain, as a concept. Somewhat similar to lesser-used crypto-native terms like WAGMI, “zoom-out” seems to have become a sort of battle cry for the NFT community, indicating a sense of togetherness and stick-to-itiveness. And now, as Web3 continues to brace itself in a post-FTX climate, zooming out is beginning to deliver more meaning in a time of urgent need.
To zoom out, literally
Traditionally, zooming out refers to crypto price charts. Likely derived from the common crypto proverb “when in doubt, zoom out” (of which even t-shirts have been made), it is used to urge traders to expand their crypto chart viewfinders to see the full history of a price index. In this way, to “zoom out” is to understand that over time, regardless of many major setbacks, crypto prices always have an upwards trajectory. Take the below price chart for ETH, for example.
While the price of ETH in November 2022 is a far cry from where it was a year prior, it’s still significantly higher than when the currency first became tradeable in 2015. Ask any seasoned crypto enthusiast, and they will gladly tell you that through the lens of zooming out, crypto dips need not be worried about. Only by zooming out can traders see the long-term vision of crypto and understand that while periods of stagnancy are unavoidable (like 2018 – 2021), a slow grind upwards is the inevitable consensus.
What zooming out means to the NFT community
As it pertains to crypto price charts, zooming out helps investors feel better about the state of their portfolios. But the NFT community is concerned with much more than the bottom line of profits. Considering the adversity and skepticism the space has continued to experience over the past two years, “zooming out” to NFT purists has taken on a much more qualitative meaning.
For artists and collectors alike, zooming out is akin to a practice of humility. This is exemplified by prominent Web3 rapper Spottie WiFi, who said in an interview with nft now that zooming out helps him see the big picture of music NFTs, and reminds him how grateful he is for the accolades he’s accumulated.
“When I zoom out and look back on the past year or two, I’m super grateful for how far music NFTs have come and how just a few indie artists have disrupted the music industry,” Spottie said. “I knew that platinum artists, Grammy winners, and major labels would eventually enter Web3 and the metaverse after seeing our success, but I thought it would take years, not months. I’m proud to have been on this wave for the past couple of years and am excited for the future.”
This attitude of gratitude is shared by others in the community, with some (like Loopify and Zeneca below) tacking on an extra ounce of meaning here and there to help illustrate their hopes and perspectives.
Beyond idealistic sentiments, zooming out is also considered by some to be a tool for looking toward the future. In this way, the phrase is used to comment on the overall status of the NFT space, highlighting learnings from the past while offering insight into what’s to come. As far as multidisciplinary artist Nathaniel Parrott is concerned, this utilization of “zooming out,” as a tool to build a framework for the future is of the utmost importance. In an interview with nft now, Parrott said that zooming out could prove to be a key factor in how the NFT community decides which direction the non-fungible movement will head in next.
“In order to zoom out, we must all zoom in, asking ourselves as stewards of the NFT space what we really want in the end,” said Parrott. “The responsibility now rests upon us as individual participants. Where we spend our money, where we spend our time, and where we focus our attention. There’s a long road ahead of us. I still predict the rest of the decade will empower artists like never before, but treacherous terrain still remains.”
Parrott went on to note that he foresees the greater NFT community diversifying in the near future, decoupling from the popular market sectors and returning to niches like streetwear, art, collectibles, and sports. Considering the speed at which things change in the NFT space, it might not come as too much of a surprise for his zoomed-out prediction to come to fruition. But, as echoed by the sentiments of Deadfellaz Co-Founder Betty and prominent AI collaborative artist Claire Silver, while zooming out may help us grasp the full scope of the blockchain industry, we still need to push for real change if we really want a more balanced future.
7/ Open metaverse means freedom of choice. There is room for all of us. If we eat our own, the world will be waiting to lap up the scraps. This beautiful movement deserves better than that. We are smarter than that. Keep the big picture in mind. Zoom out.
— Claire Silver 🌸 (@ClaireSilver12) December 6, 2021
Zoom out, keep your sanity
Regardless of intention, the meaning behind the phrase “zoom out” is immediately understood by both those in the NFT space and within the general sphere of blockchain technology. Even when things go from bad to worse, as highlighted by the recent FTX debacle, hope can be salvaged with the reminder that, over time, things can get better. Whether that means crypto prices go up, or NFTs reach further into mass adoption via new use cases that help make the world a more equitable place, zooming out is the first step toward understanding the future potential of the blockchain.